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Lib Dems “relieved but disappointed” at Local Plan


THE Liberal Democrat opposition group has delivered its initial response to Warrington Borough Council’s Local Plan – and expressed both relief and disappointment.
Cllr Ryan Bate said: “From our initial look at the headline figures, we are both pleased and relieved that the amount of development proposed has been reduced significantly and that less Green Belt will be lost.
“We’re also pleased that brownfield sites will be used as efficiently as possible and that there is a commitment to build infrastructure first.
However we are very disappointed that the deeply unpopular garden suburb, with its highly damaging concentration of development in the south of the borough, remains part of the proposals.
“We must find a more equitable way to distribute the loss of green space, so that no single part of the town faces such a destructive transformation.”
Cllr Bate says the Liberal Democrats will be doing everything they can to challenge the location options of the Local Plan in order to deliver an outcome which is fairer and more sustainable.
“We are already working with parish councils, community groups and residents to organise our challenge.  With the professional support of planning consultants, we will do all that we can to prove the plan is not robust and must be changed.”
The draft plan will be considered by the council’s executive board next Monday, March 11.
The garden suburb – to be developed as a sustainable urban extension to the south east of the main urban area of Warrington, would deliver around 7,400 homes (5,100 during the Plan period, including the 930 homes currently under construction), extensive infrastructure and community facilities and a major new employment location at the junction of the M6 and M56.
If the plan is approved by the executive board, it will be submitted to full council for approval on March 25. Council approval would pave the way to an eight week formal public consultation in April, with the council planning to write to every household as part of the consultation process.


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  1. Here are my initial thoughts about the Local Plan published today
    Responding to the draft local plan, Geoff Settle Chair of the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum says:
    “Good to see that our request for the concept of Linescapes, remapping, enhancing and reconnecting Warrington’s fragmented wildlife sites by enhancing and improving linkages has now been incorporated.” but
    “Very concerned about the Port of Warrington’s impact on Moore Nature Reserve”
    “Concerned about the inclusion of Peel Hall – the inspector currently says a big fat NO to applicant”
    “Loss of Green Belt unacceptable there must be a better way – if not it’s gone forever”
    “Need greater assurance that WBC will properly scrutinise planning applications for potential impact on wildlife and scrutinise and enforce planning guidelines on cowboy developers”
    “Our grandchildren are going to hate us if we get this and climate change wrong, we have to deliver a sustainable plan that protects the natural environment”

    Whilst a comment from an exec member reads:
    My only comment in such as short time is – and it’s based on something that’s happened in the past week.
    A piece of land near the Spar at Risley has just been cleared & the trees along the roadside have been felled. I assume its for construction of a new office block/warehouse which – if true, is surprising given that there are several empty warehouses/office blocks around the area that are up for rent or sale. Surely part of the plans priority and development should be about utilising these buildings or the land they stand on rather than using new land for construction or these properties standing empty.
    How many buildings like this stand empty & unused around the town and potentially could be brought back into use as housing or even better flats, thereby taking the pressure of green belt land perhaps?
    On a general note please lets us know via our web site http://www.wncf.co.uk if you have an items of concern the you think might impact wildlife and the natural environment.
    Geoff Settle

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